Zero Punctuation: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

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Zachary Amaranth:
Oh, no surprise Yahtzee hates it! It's a Nintendo product, after all!

...I feel dirty.

Ah-HA! So your one of the dolphins and stotes (sp?) accusing Yahtzee of baseless Nintendo hatred! This time he has a bloody good reason!
Doesn't the white space with the cupboard under the staircase with the unwanted games remind you of the bit from another video with "Come and join us, the Master will be home soon..." or is it just me?
Also, I liked the phat beat yahtzee dropped with his Mario Remix, and the cocaine sticker.

Want to hear a tangentially related tale?
My dream Mario game is a sort of multiplayer Mario-and-Luigi style RPG for the Wii U set eighteen years after the Mushroom and Koopa Kingdoms have made peace. You play as Mario's daughter (hereafter called Mary because the concept alone drained my imagination) and her friend, Bowser Jr. The princess has been kidnapped, but so have Bowser and Mario, by a completely new enemy. You know how Miyamoto said the Koopalings weren't Bowser's sons? Well, their real father, who logically must be called Morton, is the perpetrator of this crime, and it's up to you to save your parents.
As you travel across the vast lands, you'll pick up two extra playable characters: the geeky daughter of Daisy and Luigi (hereafter known as Lewis), and the new chief of the Yoshi Tribe. Mary, Bowser Jr, Lewis and the Chief all have different abilities that will come in handy on the journey: Mary can use powerups and manage the inventory of items, Bowser Jr can use his claws to climb walls and melt things with his fire breath, Lewis is technologically minded and can shoot switches far into the distance with his lasers, and the Chief can use his long tongue and flutter jump to cross large gaps. With every district the quartet of adventurers enter comes a new obstacle that affects one of the players, forcing the other three to work together to help their friend across. For example, in the tropical district, Lewis is unable to enter bodies of water due to all the electrical items he's carrying, so Mary and Bowser Jr have to build bridges for him. (But not the Chief, because the tropical district comes before the forest-filled Yoshi Island where the Chief joins the party.)
The multiplayer aspect comes from a drop-in playstyle compatible with the Nintendo Network. It's sort of like Left 4 Dead, in a way. Players can choose to allow online players to enter their game and control one of their teammates, or enter another player's game themselves, so long as they've cleared the world that the host is up to. (Because spoilers are bad.) With multiple players, solving puzzles and choosing moves in combat goes by much quicker due to the fact that the host player doesn't have to control everyone.
But since Nintendo will never, ever make a game like this, I don't know why I brought it up.
So... carry on.

Anyone else have the sudden urge to actually make "grasslands, desert, forest, jungle, ice world, fireworld, boss, unn-tss unn-tss unn-tss unn-tss" into a song?

Okay, I just have to say . . .
The reason for the sticker thing is that everything is made out of paper.
Paper? Stickers? Get it?

Yes and pokemon X and Y are jokes about 3D
Because they'll make an obligatory crossover game after everyone buys the first two and call it Pokemon Z
Get it?!
Cause Z is the DEPTH axis that they use to make things THREE DEE!?
HA. HA. HA. *shoots self*

...creativity has died...

You know, I'm not sure if anyone else has come to this conclusion, but Paper Mario Sticker Star is more akin to a point and click adventure game than a RPG. Think about it, you walk around collecting everything and anything that looks useful and bosses usually have ONE specific sticker that makes them vulnerable. There is no leveling and all your exploration and combat abilities come from picking up the various stickers around the game world.


Zachary Amaranth:
Oh, no surprise Yahtzee hates it! It's a Nintendo product, after all!

...I feel dirty.

Ah-HA! So your one of the dolphins and stotes (sp?) accusing Yahtzee of baseless Nintendo hatred! This time he has a bloody good reason!
Doesn't the white space with the cupboard under the staircase with the unwanted games remind you of the bit from another video with "Come and join us, the Master will be home soon..." or is it just me?
Also, I liked the phat beat yahtzee dropped with his Mario Remix, and the cocaine sticker.


Man, why don't they just PORT the GOOD Mario RPG's to the DS by now? I mean really they'd make a killing I can almost guarantee it. I mean hell everyone else ports old goodies to new systems, Nintendo seems to be the only one that doesn't really. No, they just remake the same game and CALL it new.

I liked the RPG aspect to a mario game. When I played paper mario way back when it was a really fun game. I wanted to play the sequel but I never ponied up for a gamecube. I remember the sequel getting kind of a meh grade in the gameinformer. Super Paper mario got a better grade but something struck me about the information and the pictures. Namely that it looked more platformy than RPG like.
I actually really like both genres but I liked paper mario specfically because it was a mario RPG. So when I saw that this game had even less RPG elements than Super Paper mario and others I didn't buy it.

It's split people down the middle from what I hear.

I've always wanted to check out the Paper Mario series, but this review seems to indicate that I should probably start with the older games first.

I really didn't need to hear Yahtzee moaning...or did I?

Moar Kirby's Dream Collections!
or.. maybe a Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for several of the older generations?
Despite many of them being in the e-shop, I wouldn't mind a "Nintendo's NES collection" or "Nintendo's SNES Collection" being available commercially on whatever medium. Hell, the Wii U could make it possible to have an amalgamation of a fairly large number of the old generation Mario games (NES, SNES, 64, GB, GBC, GBA, DS, and otherwise) on a single game. Resolution too small for some GB titles? Throw it on the controller screen. Needs DS capabilities? U controller + TV (with a lot of black space around the image I'd assume.)
I'm sure a lot of kids would go ape wild if they could play a Pokemon collection that leads up to the N64 generation using Wii U functionality/internet.
With Nintendo's good RPGs being in the past, I don't see how it could be too troubling to have Mario RPG (license issues?), Paper Mario, PM: TYD, Mario & Luigi:PiT, M&L:BiS on a Wii U with HD whateverz and additionL CoNtenT!1!? in a single collection.

So Yahtzee is a fan of the Wario Wares huh?

This is just another case of Nintendo being lazy, just because a games made for kids doesn't mean you need to make it so every 5 year old with a safety helmet on can figure it out till the end with no effort.

Someone killed Conker for food?
Well, at least squirrels get as many lives as they think they can get away with.

I know I'll probably be the only one to pick up on this, but I laughed so hard during the first minute when Mario pulled out a sticker of Goran Vlaovic. So random XD

Was the neglected child under the stairs always a "thing" or do we have JK Rowling to thank for that?

The Cupboard under the stairs is pretty much a JK Rowling twist on things. The idea of neglected children being hidden under the stairs is an old idea though, largely due to people having done things exactly like that. I think the earliest example of it becoming famous/pop culturery was when Wes Craven did the "People Under The Stairs" movie which took this to a horrorific extreme. I seem to remember it was based on a short story as well. "Flowers In The Attic" is also pretty famous but it switches the basement for, well, the attic, where the unwanted children are being kept, with routine attempts to poison/kill them. The old "Freddy's Nightmares" also did a take on this with a monster child being hidden in the basement, which apparently had shapeshifting/duplication powers and which swapped places with the girl who opened the door she wasn't supposed to.

More information than you probably wanted. In Yahtzee's case the referance is pretty obviously a JK Rowling referance as the child in the cupboard is a good thing. With the exception of "Flowers" in most of these stories at least there is a "good" reason for it. The child(ren) being some kind of lovecraftian horror, heavily inbred, utterly insane, etc... It's almost always been a "thing", and there are many instances I haven't mentioned, as it is a stereotype. To be honest I don't think JK Rowling set out to "subvert the trope" however, given that it usually amounts to a sort of Aesopian fable where whatever is there belongs there (contrary to the historical counterpoint of this being done to bastards, mentally ill, inbred children, etc...). JK Rowling having started "Harry Potter" for her children before she knew it was going to take off, and she probably picked something that would be bad to a very long child, but not so bad as to be utterly horrific, while keeping up the somewhat silly/cutesy vibe the books possess (more so than the movies) with some occasional very dark/serious stuff coming up as a counterpoint.

Sweet Zombie Jesus, was that a Jamie Bulger joke?

Oh wow, that hadn't even occured to me. You may be right on that one. Jesus...

I approve of this episode.

Here's the remix!!! Hunz hunz hunz...

Tar Palantir:
Here's the remix!!! Hunz hunz hunz...

You win the internet. Now e-mail it to Yahtzee. Seriously. He needs to see it.

The only thing that needs to be thrown in the cupboard is Shigeru Miyamoto and his paranoia towards games telling stories. In a recent Iwata Asks segment, it was revealed that it was by his influence that the story elements were stripped and the gameplay of Sticker Star was changed to focus primarily on the stickers. Apparently, he felt there had been too much story in Super Mario Galaxy and the recent Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, in place of a more intense focus on the gameplay itself.

Paper Mario is a series where story and RPG elements matter and are expected by the players; they are essential to why the previous games are so endearing. Removing them from the series is like making the next Zelda an online-only tea party simulator and presenting it to the public as the next logical installment of the main series. Sure, you might have all the characters, art, and music that screams Zelda in appearance, but you don't have a Zelda game, you have a far-fetched and terrible spin-off. While there are some elements you can change in a game's formula without risking the quality of the game, removing significant core elements that are signature to that series is an extreme risk that takes a lot of skill and luck to pull off to still make a good game. There is a reason why Halo focuses on futuristic warfare, Zelda on exploration, and Burnout on smashing cars. The original Paper Mario and its sequel are good examples of how a spin-off can indeed become a great series of its own. Sticker Star, however, is a fine example how a spin-off (of a spin-off) can become the worst thing to happen to a series because of identity issues.

If people want a Mario game that has minimal story and a focus on gameplay, they can play every other Mario game in existence. Trying to make a series into something its not for no good reason beyond some ridiculous notion that every decision Miyamoto makes is a good one can only hurt the quality of Nintendo's games in the long run.

I had to restrain myself so hard not to purchase on impulse with this game because I couldn't convince myself that the sticker aspect would be fun in any way. I am really glad I was able to resist.

Really? A bit hard to believe. Sorry but I think if you had any intention of buying it to begin with, you would have based your purchase on the Escapist review, and not that of a critic. Do you base all of your game purchases on Yahtzee reviews? Because if so, you must have almost nothing in your game collection except Silent Hill 2 and Driver San Fransisco.

Yahtzee's job is to criticize games, not praise them. He does have some videos where he says that he likes some games, but he still points out all their flaws and where they fell short.

Yahtzee is a critic, not a reviewer. Something that people seem to often think.

Once again, Yahtzee proves himself to be nothing more than a hypocritical douchebag.

You spend all sorts of other videos demanding innovation from Nintendo, and yet when they do decide to do something different with one of their series, you hate it on principle?

How the fuck does that work?

There's a difference between ruining a series and making it different. Not to mention he said that this game was nothing new for the series and just the same mario formula.

Would you prefer Paper Mario suffer from stagnation like Galaxy?

So our only two options are stagnation and crap?

Gilbert Hays:
The credits raises an interesting question: What would Yahtzee make of any sort of new Conker game?

He hinted that he likes Conkers in his Painkiller review:

I'm surprised nobody's tried to make a remix or a dubstep or something out of the "grasslands, desert" etc. thing he did. I thought the internet jumped all over that sort of thing.
Hell, I've heard a Kefka laugh dubstep. The internet's really resisting the temptation here.

Was that "pushing people onto railway tracks behind the schoolyard" comment a reference to a very old very strange PSA from the U.K.? Holy crap!

Good to see a man with good taste in the cider department.

I wanted to dislike this game but... stuff like this just made me love it.

Okay, I signed up to post my remix (because I resisted quite hard to make one last time - buh, wuh, nani?) and i've been a long time fan.

So here's my attempt at a remix for Yahtzee's review of Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Others could probably do better, I just felt like I wanted to share. :)

Edit: Though it looks like I may have been beaten to it. ;)
Edit2: Also added it to youtube, incase random links scare you =D

I am not have many expectations from Nintendo. I am little bit disappointed.

Just wanted to answer ZP's question about why the game uses stickers. Stickers (called "seals" in Japanese) are huge in Japan with kids; they go completely crazy over them, up until about 8th grade or so. Teachers constantly give them out as rewards, kids constantly collect them, and stickers are even used in lieu of letter grades. This is why stickers also appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Sakurai was quoted in an interview once saying something to the effect of "Kids enjoy collecting stickers, so we think that they'll enjoy collecting them in this game." Once you've studied Japanese culture enough and lived in Japan for long enough, you start to realize just how Japan-centric Nintendo and all its games and hardware are. A lot of the places in games are based off of Japanese places (PokeMarts mirror Japanese convenient stores, etc.), and a lot of the humor is distinctly Japanese, which is why I think the guys who translated the Mario & Luigi series did such a fantastic and difficult job.

Source: Three years as an elementary school and junior high school teacher in Japan.

That... is a grand shame.

It sounds like it suffers from the same thing I thought about Super Paper Mario- that it's been made too simplistic with the elimination of partners (no funny Tattles!), fewer timed attacks, removing Star Power attacks, and now even leveling. Streamlining a series is one thing, but the first two PMs appeared quite simple despite having a lot of hidden tricks to them like the 'stylish' moves in TTYD. Particularly if the main mechanic you're taking everything else away to focus on is as simplistic as you've described. Almost always better to add things to a series than remove them.

If a 5th Paper Mario is made for the Wii U I hope they realize this as well as returning Bowser to the role of 'butt monkey/sometime ally'. Dude's even funnier when he's not calling the shots.

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